KPD investigating 'bathroom bandit' striking fast food restaurants

11:30 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Knoxville police are puzzled over who would steal out of all things: fast food restaurant toilet parts.

"He's already hit four of our Burger Kings, local," said Cathy Luttrell, the district manager of several Burger King restaurants. On Friday, the Walker Springs Burger King was targeted, as piping from the men's bathroom was stolen.

She said she has been seeing the vandalism since January 21.

"He's taking the plumbing from the back of the toilets. He also did one of the urinals, and he's taking the floor drains," Luttrell talked about the most recent case.

The manager showed 10News surveillance video of a man who can be seen near the bathrooms before and after the burglaries. So far, there is no identification nor any reason for the thefts.

Plumbers said the scrap value of the piping is not worth much.

"10, 15 bucks at most," said Eric Keich with Knoxville Plumbing.

He said he has heard of past cases of stolen toilet piping in vacant homes, but not in public areas, like restaurants.

"Just go in there, shut off the valve off at the wall, and be able to un-assemble the flush-o-meter and put it in a backpack. That's bizarre," he added.

So until this so-called "bathroom bandit" is caught, Luttrell wants to send a message to other restaurants: "Just check the restrooms often."

Each of these burglaries cost Burger King at least $200.

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